Monthly Archives: September 2014

A Surprise Visit

September 29, 2014

week 3 was an in-depth look into utilities. i won’t subject you to that.

week 4 was an in-depth look into packaging. i could subject you to that экскурсии на квадроциклах в Сочи. especially because i am working on a project on a bottle line packer. i could subject you to mind boggling statistics about how much beer we package and ship every week. and how fast we package and ship beer every minute.

but instead i want to tell you about how great my last weekend was.

i had a VERY important visitor. i might even venture out to say one of the most important visitors. he is the man who has had the single greatest impact on my life. he is the best person to go to for a funny story, great advice, or a big bear hug. not that i need to further introduce him, but my rascal of a father came to visit. it was the highlight of my weekend.

he made the ten hour drive down to visit me in style. as always. but unfortunately got stuck in traffic behind a pretty bad accident. so what would have been a ten hour drive became a twelve hour drive. but he was a champ and even stayed up to chat with me when he finally made it here around midnight. he must have been exhausted, but he is my dad and he is the best.

i sure hope you were at a complete stop for this picture…

we had a perfectly lazy saturday morning. complete with good books and a delicious breakfast. Marc had to leave early in the morning to volunteer at a bike race, but Ryan and i had a great time sitting around, chatting with him. he is great to talk with. his years and experiences have developed his wisdom. but don’t tell him that. i’d hate for it to go to his head.

then we drove him the thirty minutes out to Cartersville to show him around the brewery. it was weird explaining the process to someone outside the industry. i didn’t realize how much i had learned in a short two months. the time has gone quickly.

cartersville brewery

after our lengthy walk around the plant, we meandered our way back home where i had the pleasure of a few more visitors. i have some crazy friends from college. one in particular that has a habit of making spontaneous, mildly irresponsible, and fantastic decisions. well he acted on the splendid idea to drag his brother, sister in law, and roommate down to Atlanta, Georgia from Columbia, Missouri for a Garth Brooks concert. they are awesome and ridiculous all at the same time. my time with them was short, but as always, splendid*.

*to be said in Alex’s mildly menacing, evil villain tone like he is up to no good. 

then it was out to creole for dinner. and jazz for entertainment. i think the band might have been more focused on providing comedic relief than playing jazz, but the man could play the saxophone. he managed to hold a note for over three minutes. i lost track of keeping time. he lasted longer than my attention span. although that isn’t much of a feat.

cafe 290

sunday was another lazy day. more breakfast. more reading. thai food. captain america: winter soldier. i like lazy days.

i had a rare pleasure on monday of meeting one of my dad’s friends and mentors. his name is Chuck Reaves. he wrote this awesome book about how to turn your ideas into actions. i now understand why my dad likes him so much. he is a mixture of logical reasoning, personal connection, useful application, and intuitive insights. so it was no shock that i greatly enjoyed his company, his opinions, and his conversation. between my dad and him, they made me think. they made me laugh. they made me consider something new. it made me genuinely evaluate ideas that i hadn’t given merit to before. i hadn’t been challenged in that way in a while. i greatly appreciate people who challenge and motivate me to be more. especially when it’s based on logic, research, and passion. those kind of people are rare and immensely influential. and time spent with such individuals is never undervalued.

my monday then concluded at the braves baseball game with Marc, Ryan, and Alaina. the game was not particularly great. the lack of postseason allure dulled most of the enthusiasm. but i will never object to a live sporting event in fair weather.

so much excitement.

and pretty dang good seats.

oh. and here are a few pictures of packaging to satisfy your curiosity.

i filled this tub of bottle caps all by myself.

living it up on the high lines

so. many. cans.

C’Ville Week Two

September 19, 2014

wow. it’s already the end of week 3 in Georgia. that seems a little crazy.

our first week was training, which is to be expected. but to be honest, i’m getting a little burnt out on in class room training. i don’t sit still well. i fidget. a lot.

which is why week two was so great! day one we were out in the brewery. we had a legit in-depth tour of the brewing process from Ru, a giggly line manager who has done a great job of showing us around his domain. and ensuring that we are experiencing Atlanta’s exquisite after hours culture.

we learned about the brewing process from the intake of grains through finishing and filtration as the beer is prepped for the final consumer. want to know more? awesome, i will write all about it soon. when i have more than 10 minutes between work, dinner, and bed.

another highlight of last week was pulling the chip tanks. oh you betcha. i got to crawl into a dirty, slimy, yeasty chip tank (where the beer ferments on beechwood chips for 21 days) and splash around in the yeasty beer soaked strips of beechwood. i absolutely loved it. it helped being the smallest of the group. i fit much more easily than the boys.

my better side.

while i love getting messy for the sake of getting messy, the historical aspect of the beechwood aging process made the experience all the sweeter. this is how budweiser has been made for 138 years. one hundred and thirty-eight years. that’s a long time. after the liquid is turned into alpha beer in primary fermentation, it continues into secondary fermentation (known as the chip tanks). the beer ferments in the chip tanks on a bed of beechwood chips for 21 days until it is fully matured into a crisp, clean-finishing budweiser. you cannot rush this process. you cannot change biology or chemistry. but i was glad that my sinus infection saved me from the full brunt of the smell.

these tanks are massive.

rake it out, Ry.

beechwood chips.

in addition to playing in the yeast, we got to try the final product. and by final product, i mean lots of final products. quality is a big deal at AB. a really big deal. every day at 3 pm, the brewmasters and their assistants taste the quality of the product made that day. every day. during our week of brewing, we participated in sampling, describing, and rating all of the beers produced at the C’ville brewery.

i should mention that these products are: budweiser, bud light, bud light lime, natural, natural light, natural ice, bud ice, michelob, michelob amberbock, straw-ber-rita, lime-a-rita, and king cobra.

i will be the first to admit that some of these are not my favorite beers. but we were learning to taste for the profile of the beer, not necessarily for the flavor that i liked. it was engaging. it was educational. it was enlightening. but i still will not be picking up a case of king cobra on my weekly grocery store run.

taste all the things!

stop by again soon for my week 3 update! i will try to not procrastinate. and most of you that know me are probably laughing.

A Brief Intro

September 13, 2014

so let me tell you about Cartersville:

C’ville is an adorable town just outside of Atlanta that is home to 19,810 delightful Georgians. it is also home to our most water efficient brewery in the world, using 2.77 hectoliters of water per hectoliter of beer.

the Cartersville brewery was opened in 1988 on 1600 acres of rolling Georgia countryside. 1600 acres for me to play on for six whole weeks! i think my dreams might have just come true. they are currently running four bottle lines and three can lines that make 245 different product and package combinations (aka 245 SKUs for all my engineering friends out there). i am sure some of my friends out there think they could out drink our brewery. please, bring it on. we make 9.4 MILLION hectoliters of beer every year. that is 248.32 million gallons of beer every year. i could turn that into some cool stat about how many olympic sized swimming pools that could fill, but…. i am feeling a little lazy right now.

and that is only one of our breweries. and we are only a medium sized brewery in our system. please, let your head try to wrap around that. because i am still trying to and failing epically.

and for my environmentally conscious friends out there, we currently recycle 99.8% of our solid inputs, reuse CO2 produced during primary fermentation for packaging, use the thermal energy creating during the cooling process, and house a mini army of solar panels. we love our planet and are finding every way to take care of it.

my brewery. the one morning i came in after the sun was up.

i was sent down to Georgia with two young gentlemen. of sorts. they are a handful. yet so much fun. ladies, listen up and let me know if you’d like to come visit…

Ryan is my friendly giant from southern California. at a towering 6’7″, i promise you can wear any pair of heels when going out with him. he loves foreign films, french music, and long walks under the moonlight. he even cooks. and he cooks REALLY well. he likes to spend his lazy saturdays at the beach reading a book or playing volleyball. his favorite beer is budweiser with a little lime in it. and the quickest way to his heart is chocolate chip cookies and mint chocolate chip ice cream.


Marc is my foreign outdoorsman from Switzerland. yes, you read that right, Switzerland. he even has the accent. he loves tennis, snowboarding, and long hikes in the woods up minor mountains (see this post). he even takes the trash out. without being asked. and he is always helping out. he has some of the craziest stories. of wild boars biting him, treks into the Amazon jungle, and swimming with sharks. his favorite beer is stella artois. the quickest way to his heart? cream cheese on his sandwiches. actually, just cheese in general.

Marc-y Marc.

they take care of me. whether it is walking me back to my apartment at night or sitting in urgent care with me for three hours or tagging along on whatever crazy adventure i come up with for the day. they are the best. i am spoiled to have them. and i could not imagine my six weeks in Georgia without them.

Our Awkward Date Nondate

September 3, 2014

the first weekend of our Georgia adventure was relaxing and enjoyable and entertaining. and awkward.

so after we were set up with Black Beauty, we found our way to our little town that we will call home for the next 6 weeks. we stopped to grab lunch, sometime around 4. where we were mistaken for a couple. don’t worry, this will start to become a theme.

Marc and i settled into our new (separate) diggs. which are pretty dang nice, if i must say so. i have a fireplace, a guest bedroom, a porch that overlooks a serene pond, 2 bathrooms, a comfy couch with rather fashionable pillows, a table that is romantically set for 2, an entirely too comfortable bed with lots of pillows and blankets, a massive walk-in closet, and a kitchen! a fully furnished kitchen. i couldn’t be happier. i’ve missed cooking. i think i’d actually been having withdrawals. i was starting to shake around dinner time. cold sweats. fevers. unexplainable twitching.

okay. that might be an exaggeration. but i have missed being able to cook my own meals.

my massive walk in closet… with enough clothes to fill a suitcase.

the view off my back porch.

we then decided to go for a run to explore our surroundings. we went on a little jaunt around the serene pond in my backyard. and then went to explore further out. we got lost. after running some very steep hills. which we then had to climb again to return home.

finally making it back, we found our way to the pool. where, hot and sweaty and nasty, we decided to refresh ourselves in the pool. what a great feeling after the 56% humidity of Georgia.

no, we didn’t shower before jumping in the pool in our running clothes.

we eventually ventured out for a grocery store and some food. where the rather helpful man in the produce section again mistook us for a couple. and then it happened again at Zaxby’s where we stopped for a quick dinner before coming back to watch a movie.

Zaxby’s dinner date!

the next day? we had a nice workout in the little weight room. and then went for another swim (in the proper attire this time). where i made a new buddy. and we were again asked if we were a couple. poor Marc. we awkwardly play it off. kind of laughing about it. kind of not sure what to do or how to act.

and to make it even worse, we settled in that night for another movie and ice cream. yeah yeah yeah. i know what it looks like.

mmm. berry cobbler ice cream.

the next day we went on a hike together Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. yep. you know what everyone was thinking. then we came back and hung out in the pool. together. then we made dinner. together. and watched tennis. together.


the deer that was completely unafraid of humans

finally Ryan showed up, in all of his irritable, sarcastic glory after a rough day of traveling, to ruin our 3 day date, not actual date awkwardness. thanks for saving the day Ryan.

A Warm Atlantaian Welcome

September 1, 2014

i have relocated.

to Georgia. just outside of Atlanta.

and i think i was dropped into a dream.

first off, i made the trek with Marc. and it was the easiest trip i have ever taken. i need to travel with him more often. the flight was smooth and quick. i (unsurprisingly) was passed out. i love falling asleep in moving vehicles. especially boats. but planes aren’t bad either.

somewhere above those fly over states.

we arrived to the airport in the perfect time to catch the train to the baggage claim.

and we showed up at the baggage claim just as our bags did as well.

we walked over to the train for the car rental center, and got off the elevator just as the train was unloading its passengers to make the return trip.

having a membership with national car rental, we could walk straight out to the parking lot of pick up our car.

now this is where it gets even better.

a lot of people decided to come to Atlanta this weekend and rent cars. so when we show up, there are limited vehicles for the crowd of customers in the parking lot. but there is a beautiful black extended cab chevy silverado gleaming from a fresh wash sitting in the otherwise empty parking garage. i overhear a lady offering it to the 4 parties ahead of us. and then exasperatedly offer “does anyone want this pickup?!”

my ears definitely perked up. i wanted it. me. pick me!

i asked her what the catch was. she said no catch. they were just out of cars.

so clarification: i can simply get a beautiful black extended cab chevy silverado gleaming from a fresh wash for the price of a super lame 4 door economy car? yes. yes? yes!

this happened 3 days ago and i’m still smiling from ear to ear. i have a truck. for a whole 6 weeks, i have a truck. BEST. DAY. EVER.

check out my black beauty.

black beauty